“Hiking a slot canyon.”


Ever since I viewed photos of slot canyons in Utah’s Zion National Park, I have dreamed of hiking within the vertical rock walls reaching towards the sky allowing glimpses of sunlight into the mystical formations designed by nature over millions of years. When there is a threat of rain, the possibility of flash floods increases causing torrents of water to fill the narrow canyon walls … Continue reading “Hiking a slot canyon.”

“Focused, divided attention and multitasking”


The term “laser focused” is associated with academics and athletics. To reach this level of concentration takes months, years and decades of mental and physical training. Some people believe multi-tasking is an attribute and advantage when parenting more than two children. But, multitasking comes with a cautionary tale of wisdom. “It is better to devote your mental and physical attention to one thing at a time … Continue reading “Focused, divided attention and multitasking”

“An iconic American road.”


I was traveling south along Nevada route 95 when I wandered into Las Vegas to visit family and to check out Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. When I told my uncle of my, intentions, he thought Red Rock Casino where after a great buffet dinner, I toured the casino and discovered a sports bar with eighteen television projectors directed at a wall, combining three giant-screens, with … Continue reading “An iconic American road.”

“”Penchant for poo.”


As a child growing up, I always had Labrador Retrievers as pets, and one of my chores was picking up after the dog. When I became an adult, I swore never to get another dog to avoid picking up poo. My kids grew up with cats a lot easier to pick-up after. Several weeks ago I went to visit my father when his 15-year old … Continue reading “”Penchant for poo.”

“Disobey.”


I learned very early in my childhood before I started school that acting bad or being bad brought about a spanking or a scolding at the least. When I began school the report cards had a section labeled “disobeying,” and based on previous scoldings I knew never to have that box marked. One of my friends did, and he received the standard neighborhood parental discipline, … Continue reading “Disobey.”

“Elevating my knowledge of West Wendover NV.”


My travel mission was set to photograph the Bonneville Salt Flats with a refuel top off in the town called West Wendover, NV en-route to Reno NV. However, it’s been my custom to stop at the visitors center of all towns and communities. I was greeted by both of the two wonderful ladies in the photo below who informed me of their towns historic facts, its significance with … Continue reading “Elevating my knowledge of West Wendover NV.”

“Enamored with Nature.”


After viewing and capturing photos of the natural beauty in Yellowstone National Park, I found the Flagg Ranch Campgrounds located along the John D Rockafeller Parkway in between Yellowstone National Park and five miles north of the Grand Teton National Park entrance. The campgrounds $40.00 fee was the steepest cost I had ever encountered for a tent site, so I found the nearby disperse (free) campsite … Continue reading “Enamored with Nature.”

“My Homage to Travel Dreams.”


A retiree who accepts their status will become a happier person going forward into the second chapter of their lives. While many retirees remain in their past, never reflecting on their future. (M.J.Leake) As a child did I dreamed of flying or traveling around the world after reading about Amelia Earheart’s adventures and reading the Jules Vern’s novel “Around the world in 80 days?” My … Continue reading “My Homage to Travel Dreams.”

“Unfurl and Synchronized Traffic.”


  Depending on where you live planning a trip from your home to travel across town can easily be accomplished depending on where you live. In the major metropolitan cities along both the east and west coasts of American, it can be a challenge of a life time to travel 10-miles in less than a half hour depending on the time of day. So, after … Continue reading “Unfurl and Synchronized Traffic.”

“Humorous moxie.”


  Our eldest son Geoferry organized and paid for a private dining room in the exclusive up scale restaurant “Alain Ducasse,” inside the Dorchester hotel in downtown London to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Initially, I was against the event believing Geoffery should save his money, as I would be content with dinner at home with our Geoffery and ten or so family members hoping everyone … Continue reading “Humorous moxie.”

“Dare-Devil Great Grandmother.”


Six months ago, I was with twenty-one of my family members to watch my youngest great-granddaughter tandem parachute from a plane 12000 feet above the airport to celebrate her 21st birthday and entry into the US Army. My son and his wife Corinna were not happy, to say the least about their daughter taking such a risk. However only because she was entering the US … Continue reading “Dare-Devil Great Grandmother.”

“Spring Symphony!”


There was a united symbolism as the band members walked from both sides of the stage to their seats for their premiere spring symphonic performance. Everyone in the audience eagerly stood to applaud their entry. Once seated, the female conductor entered onto the stage from the left bowed to the public then quickly turned and stepped onto the conductor’s stand. The band members snapped to … Continue reading “Spring Symphony!”

“Serendipity.”


It was a sunny Sunday morning as I waited in traffic for the light to change when the sounds of tires screeching interrupted my music. I instinctively peered into my rearview mirror to see a female on a bicycle dancing to music playing on her headphones unaware of the threatening sounds of injury as the skidding auto approached her bike. I scream aloud, “Watch out,” hoping … Continue reading “Serendipity.”

“Against all odds at any age.”


Many baby boomers remember the 1973 exhibition tennis match also known as the battle of sexes when Women’s tennis champion Billie Jean-King defeated male chauvinist Bobby Riggs. When Yvonne Hobart walked onto the European pickle-ball court, in Helsinki Finland for the championship to the applause of cheering fans, it was all 512 residents from Hallam, her little Village located in the Newark and Sherwood districts … Continue reading “Against all odds at any age.”

“Crisp proud parents.”


Julius and Doretha Jefferson drove seven hours from Pittsburgh PA to West Point NY, to attend parents day at the US Army’s Military Academy. After a night in the local hotel, they awoke early for breakfast and took the short drive to the campus. They walk into the stadium, to climb the stairs into the stands with several hundred parents to witness their children enter … Continue reading “Crisp proud parents.”

“Distances and Images.”


A tragedy brought us together, but serendipitous events spawned our meeting. My heart beats slowed in response to your beauty my eyes witnessed My voice stuttered as I introduce myself, yet I cannot remember anything else I said. But, I will forever remember your voice saying yes to meet for coffee after our work. We stole two hours of our sleep sharing a cup of … Continue reading “Distances and Images.”

“A detonated heart mourns and grieves with tears of, sorrow, and despair for a lost love.”


Over the centuries the village of Paliseul Belgium survived the horrors of the thirty-year war, several bouts with the ravages of the plague, and cholera. By the early 1800’s the village population of men dwindled from 67 to 8, and five of whom were in their late 40’s. Out of necessity, the eight village elders banded together with an idea to arranged marriages for their … Continue reading “A detonated heart mourns and grieves with tears of, sorrow, and despair for a lost love.”

“Radiating calm and coolness.”


Many years ago during my childhood, I was always my mother’s accompanier. If she went to a funeral, of a friend, I went. Evening events at the church, I went, and to pick up parts for my father’s gas station before auto parts stores delivered, I always went. I was 9 or 10 – years of age, on this one trip, traveling four-tenths of a … Continue reading “Radiating calm and coolness.”

“Notorious Farce.”


When I was asked to speak here today, I was reticent because for the past three years I have looked upon you all seated here as my family and we all have shared many hours of conversation debating every topic imaginable. I believe I received the nickname “Notorious,” for my frank and direct conversations with many of the students. I’m keenly aware that many of … Continue reading “Notorious Farce.”

“I have no qualms on a precipice.”


After two months of preparations, working out at a gym and buying $987.94 worth of backpacking gear. We are on the John Muir trail in Northern California and have been hiking for two days. But, for the past two hours, we have sat on a precipice overlooking a valley into the Sierra Nevadas at just over 8000 feet. We were enjoying the unnerving silence of … Continue reading “I have no qualms on a precipice.”

“Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness.”


The word pink is associated with romance, sweetness, and happiness, But the evolution of the word pink and its bright color has become associated with, breast cancer awareness. During the month of October women around the world gather in cities, towns, and villages to march in support of women’s rights and breast cancer awareness. The women’s protest march held this year drew millions of women, … Continue reading “Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness.”

“Bitterly exposed, where is Edgar?”


Mother, I’m so upset and angry with Wilbur, this is the third time this month he has been naughty. What did he do? Well, when I returned home from work this evening I walked into the kitchen to see the trashcan on its side with this morning orange and grapefruit peels on the floor. I was bitterly upset with Wilbur’s actions that have exposed a … Continue reading “Bitterly exposed, where is Edgar?”

“Apprentice.”


When I was newly assigned, my heart was filled with pride and honor, but, quickly I recognized it was I who was the apprentice and intern who learned to appreciated the honor it was to represent, you all. I have reflected upon my times here in the field with a company of men and women whom I have shared traumatic emotional moments of tragedy and … Continue reading “Apprentice.”

Zip, a generational migration


My name is Mildred Hoskins, and at the mature age of 87, my birding dream has come true. My husband Charles and I were married for 58 years when he died a couple of years ago. We met while we were both students at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. After graduation, he took a teaching job at the University, and I became a … Continue reading Zip, a generational migration